Paw Patrol: Mighty Pups Save Adventure Bay (Xbox One) Review
Easy to understand, non-challenging gameplay is great for early gamers
Great for Achievement hunters
All the PAWsome jokes you can handle
Some mini games have touchy play control
No local co-op play so older brother cannot play with younger sister
Released two years ago, Outright Games released Paw Patrol: On A Roll on all current consoles. This colorful and low challenge 2D side-scroller was a great title for young gamers as it essentially is like playing a cartoon. Due to the success of the original game, Outright has released their follow-up Paw Patrol: Might Pups Save Adventure Bay. Besides having a much longer name, this sequel is essentially the same game as the original but now with 3D platforming segments instead of 2D.
This game is clearly targeting the youngest of gamers. I’d say 4-7 years old is probably the ideal age range. For parents looking for that easy intro game for their youngling, this is definitely a safe bet.
Instead of walking to the right side of the screen to reach the end, this sequel allows the player to venture through a relatively small, linear environment to collect hundreds of pup treats (think Mario style coins) and platform over simple obstacles, all without having direct control of the camera. Along the way, the player will need to press the context button to perform that puppy’s specific special ability. The player has no control over the puppy selection for each stage but this just makes it easy for the young player. Using the fireman puppy’s water hose in a level that doesn’t require water wouldn’t make much sense. Two pups enter each stage and can be switched at any time using the shoulder buttons but they all play and control exactly the same. Sometimes the drill puppy will need to break apart a rock whereas the glider pup will need to soar through the sky. The design remains simple throughout the entire experience and there is never anything challenging. In fact, the only challenge comes from the unfortunate touchy controls in a few of the mini games. The player is rewarding for collecting everything in each stage too. In this Xbox One version, Achievement hunters will be very happy as obtaining all 1000 Gamerscore doesn’t take time and even less effort.
The hundreds of floating pup treats also serve a purpose as collecting enough will unlock mini games and pointless bonus material such as a screenshot of the stage environments and characters in the game. Each mini game is also essentially the same thing as they all involve pressing a button at the right time (like a slow DDR clone) or flicking the analog stick. It is also worth mentioning that the player cannot really fail the mini game, only get a lower score. Again, everything here is designed to be child friendly and it hits the nail on the head.
Even though I am clearly not within the target audience for this title, there are a couple of annoyances worth mentioning. First are the frequent and longer load times. Not a game breaker but I think young kids might have a tough time waiting through these annoying stops. The kid announcer is also pretty annoying as he declares everything the player is doing. However, I get it as some gamers might not be able to read yet but for everyone older, listening to this kid announcing the options in the options menu or make countless “Pawfect” and “Pawsome” jokes will twitch some nerves. Regarding the story, a meteor crashed into a beach and pups were sent to investigate. Instead of being instantly killed by radiation poisoning or making history by being the first beings to come in direct contact with an alien material from deep space, the pups are magically rewarded with super powers – you know, because that is what meteors do. Ridiculous, I know, but whatever. This is a simple kid cartoon game after all. It is also a bit of a bummer that there is no two-player mode so little Johnny cannot play with his younger sister.
Just like in my article for the original Paw Patrol game, I am not going to give this game an official score because it wouldn’t be fair given the target audience. But in regards as a kid title, it would be marked pretty high (like an 8/10). Are you a parent that wants to slowly introduce your youngster into gaming and don’t want to worry about violence or difficulty? This would be a great place to start.
Also available on Switch, PS4, and PC.
Use In Conjunction With: the TV show
Better Than: Donkey Kong Jr. Math (NES)
Wait For It: Paw Patrol: Driver’s Ed
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com